If you belong to a writing group, there is a simple exercise which demonstrates how a conversation develops.

Going clockwise round a circle, the first person begins with the phrase, 'I'm sorry, you can't have the car tonight', then turns to the next person for a response, which is usually, 'Why not?' Continue in this manner, making a rule that the dialogue must be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

The end result will usually be a compromise between the two characters who have evolved. (Nine times out of ten, the dialogue develops into an argument between father and son.)

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